Engaging Ways to Teach Place Value to Students

Haven’t you heard?! Teaching place value is kind of a BIG DEAL! Place value is a foundational skill for all math concepts. When students don’t understand place value or struggle with mastery, it can make all future concepts difficult and challenging. What are some ways that we can teach place value to our students so they understand but are also engaged in the content?!

I have included some engaging tools that you can use to help your students understand place value, as well as some resources that I have created that have worked really well in my classroom!


Now, this may seem like a no brainer but it’s so important to let students manipulative and work with numbers in order to better understand this foundational skill. Base-ten blocks are great manipulatives to use so students can visualize each number and understand how one place evolves into the next (10 ones = 1 ten, 10 tens = 1 hundred, and so on)

Place Value Mats

I love anytime my students are able to use work mats. It makes learning tactile, fun, and much more meaningful. Do you remember those dry erase packets I talked about in my must-have teaching products post?! These would work perfectly for you to slide a place value mat in and have students build numbers, write numbers and work with numbers.

BrainPOP Jr. Video

Your video doesn’t have to come from BrainPOP Jr. but it’s personally my go-to when introducing, reintroducing or reinforcing a skill. The place value video does not disappoint! While watching the video, it’s interactive and allows you the opportunity to pause, ask your students questions, check for understanding, etc. After the video, there are quizzes and activities for you to do with your students after you finish the short video. The activity for this video is awesome and it’s something you could totally add into your math stations.


Prodigy is math game that assesses common core math skills as a fantasy style game that students love playing. Prodigy also provides teachers with key reports and assessments that allow them to easily identify weaker areas as well as differentiate instruction. Students can practice at school or at home! The best part about this program is its tagline: Learn Math for Free. Forever. Teachers love anything that is free, am I right!? Not only can you work on place value skills, but all math skills. It’s a win, win!

Place Value Worksheets and Activities

The last engaging way for you to practice place value concepts in your classroom is with these worksheets. These Place Value Worksheets provide extra practice for your first or second graders. They can be used for seat work, centers, assessments, interactive notebooks, and fast finishers.

If you’re looking for some more practice worksheets or activities, check these out:

Winter Place Value Games and Activities

Place Value Centers

2nd Grade Place Value Puzzles

Well, there you have it! I hope this post gave you some good ideas when teaching place value in your class! Please let me know what you decide to try in your classroom for introducing, reinforcing, or reteaching place value.

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